August 23, 2006



(This wack photo is the only evidence I was at the show. When I pulled out the PowerShot—on its last legs, held together with tape and announcing "memory card error" every other time I turn it on—an usher scuttled over and hit me with the visual cockblock. Good thing I didn't photograph that big empty stage.)

So. "Mother Courage." Is long. Repeats self. Re-states Brecht's evergreens: People suck, and they suck most at precisely those moments—e.g., war—when you'd like them to kick it up a notch and rise above their inherent suckiness. The promise of sex or money will trump any moral convictions, all of which turn out to be loosely held anyway.

Kevin Kline is Kevin Kline, which means that if you've seen a Kevin Kline movie, and you've seen a Brecht play, you know what he does. Austin Pendleton has one nice comic turn with an ax. Except for Mother Courage's son, Swiss Cheese, the rest of the cast mostly just gets their lines right.

But there's this other person on stage. Meryl Streep. I am not sure why an actor would agree to be on stage with Streep. It would be like challenging a supercomputer to do the Sunday crossword. Her acting contains an infinite number of folds: when a line needs to serve a purpose—highlight Brecht's distrust of spectacle, hammer home a filthy double entendre, simply be loud—she just pulls out a little more fabric. When she acts, it seems as if nobody else on stage has read the script.

A different experience.

Posted by Sasha at August 23, 2006 01:40 PM | TrackBack